The innocent children of allegedly terrorist parents killed by CTD on GT road are asking the world what their fault was. Why were they orphaned without any reason? Let’s suppose for a moment that the four people killed by CTD, including two women were terrorists. Let’s also not forget that these were going somewhere with their children. This is the greatest tragedy of our times that the war on terror has given unchecked power to armed forces to kill any suspect without any judicial intervention. This is exactly what the Americans have been doing since 9/11: preemptively killing those who are suspected of terrorism without bothering to provide evidence of their activities.

The blatant disregard of basic human rights has become a very common phenomenon in Pakistan. Since the start of war on terror, passage of draconian laws such as protection of Pakistan Act and the establishment of military courts are a blatant subjugation of the existing civilian institutions. Unfortunately, Pakistan is rapidly becoming an authoritarian and security state without having any respect for fundamental human rights.

I cannot imagine why the police had to kill the family while they were on their way home. How is it possible that two men with women and children opened fire on CTD and no police personal was injured? Was there no way to arrest the alleged criminals? Where is the sanctity of article 10A and other basic rights relating to human life?

It is quite easy to criticize while one is in opposition. The PTI lambasted PML(N) for model Town tragedy and demanded FIR be lodged against Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif. Now, I would dare to ask who is responsible for the Sahiwal tragedy? PTI has been going on and on about police reforms and a transformation of police culture. The prime minister claimed to have respect for fundamental rights thus this is now a test for the incumbent government to take responsibility. The children have recorded their account and it seems to be a true account of events.

The government has to ensure that this incident is dealt according to the law to avoid any such events in the future. such incidents should be avoided in future. The culture of encounters such as these should be discouraged. Everyone, even the worst criminals, have the right to have a fair trial. Therefore, this culture of dehumanization has to end.

Security forces should provide security rather than spreading insecurity and fear. This atmosphere of fear and terror should come to an end and the government should deliver upon its promise to reform the police. Otherwise, we will live in a quagmire of fear and insecurity for an indefinite period of time.

TAYYAB BUTT,

Sialkot, January 21.